Tyagaraja used the "direct" approach because he went out into the street to do "bhajan",
kkumar29 wrote:I have only seen emotional responses but no logical well thought out reasons K. Kumar
kaapi wrote:It has been argued in this thread that instead of bhakti being the only subject other themes and contemporary themes should be adopted, which will raise the listener interest and hence bring in a larger audience. This line of arguments supposes that the lyrics are the most dominant experience providers in a CM concert. Lyrics possibly contributed to 30 % of the experience that even a lay listener.
When we talk of contemporary themes we should also talk the contemporaenity of the composer also. Normally as any composer passes away his compositions become less common and slowly the compositions of the next generation takes over. Thus it is wrong to think that the trinity obliterated the earlier composers. It was a natural process. But it is the trinity who has proved contrary to this rule. More than the other two it is Saint Thyagarajaâ€™s whose legacy simply refuses to go away.
vgvindan wrote:Thyagaraja used 'direct' approach because he was speaking to the Lord through the Kritis. If only you had the patience to go through the kritis, you will realise that Thyagarja was communicating directly with the Lord.
A "decoupling" of CM from the "bhakti-brigade" and viewing it as an art form which has to be appreciated slowly and thoughtfully, not just gobbled down, will be very welcome. This does not mean that bhakti has no place in CM or that compositions of T "on bhakti" and MD "on deities" should not be sung any more.
There cannot be a greater scorn on Thyagaraja - what else can we expect from those name people as "bhajeham' and 'brovavamma'?
Sangeet Rasik wrote:but one thing became clear to me (and which I have stated before) - that being a "modern-day imitator" of MD (or any other composer) is not what modern composers should be doing.
Sangeet Rasik wrote:The impact of MD on our music must not be underestimated, and given a supply of discerning and reflective composers and musicologists, it should "by rights" far exceed any other vaggeyakara. MD's biggest disadvantage was his relatively weak shishya parampara. That made the crucial difference, not any "super-quality" of Tyagaraja's compositions. MD shared many qualities with another great cultural integrator, Adi Sankara - his firm grounding in Advaita, practise of "catholic" bhakti as a jivanmukta without the fetters of Dvaita and other theological nonsense that idealizes starvation and a hard life, and peripatetic nature (being willing to travel far and wide and learn many new things). But one thing he did not learn was the importance of preserving his own legacy. Unlike Sankara who toured India "harvesting disciples" from the heretics and adherents of other darshanas whom he defeated in debate, and who thereafter established various "mathas" with these disciples in charge to propagate his legacy, MD did not do much to preserve his legacy. We do not know why, but if he had done so then I bet the same guys who are now upholding Tyagaraja would have been singing MD's tune
sbala wrote:What I was always interested in is how do you maintain quality as you allow new changes. We cannot just let our fears of the future cajole us into inaction. Instead of arguing further, let me suggest this approach. This itself could ruffle a few people.
2. Some might argue if the Trinity did not have to go through this process, why should the modern composers be subjected to it.
1. Introduce a rating agency that employs eminent scholars who rate every composition that is submitted to them. Please observe that it is optional for a composer to go through this process. Obviously, the agency will have some standards to judge the compositions. What those standards are, is possibly the next step and I would leave it to knowledgeable people to discuss them.
a thorough knowledge of grammar (indicative of the ability of the appropriate use of words)
proficiency in lexicography
knowledge of prosody (differentiating among the various meters)
proficieny in the use of figures of speech
comprehension of aesthetic delight (rasa) as related to different emotive states of being (bhAva)
intelligent familiarity with local custom (necessary to grasp the intonation (kAku) peculiar to particular regions
knowledge of many languages
proficiency in the scientific theories of fine arts
expert knowledge of the three musical arts (vocal music, instrumental music and dancing)
a lovely tone quality
good knowledge of laya (tempo), tAla (musical time) and kAla.
discrimination of different intonations
acquaintance with regional (desi) rAgas
a sense of propriety in expression and new melodic forms
knowledge of another's mind
maturity in the understanding of different prabandhas
ability to compose songs at short notice
expert knowledge of composing different verbal structures for different melodic forms
maturity in producing gamakas pervading the three registers
proficiency in presentation of different AlApa
vidya wrote:It is here that I disagree . I consider the legacy of MD and his catholicity of outlook largely to be a result of his shakta traditions. A tradition known for a liberal outlook in terms of caste and gender. Infact contradictory to what you say, Sankara's advaita idealizes a hard life (and when it was initially established none of the mathas had any householder adherents, it was a mere monastic order which later became a social institution).
As for Dikshitar it is the core of the shakta and the shakta tradition that he followed and that which rejects the negative approach and the nEti nEti model and celebrates life affirmation and a balanced outlook that we see in his compositions. Anyone who understands Dikshitar will know that he never pooh-poohed any theological stream as nonsense.
I find a lot of his compositions seamlessly integrate Agamic Saivism, Kashmiri Saivism, Tantric Saivism, references to left handed paths derailed as heretics and also to philosophical streams such as advaita and dvaita.
Also today very few people believe in the historicity of a monolithic Sankara as a cultural integrator. I for one do not believe that the the author of the brahma SUtra bhAshyas was the same as the shanmata sthApaka. This is an assumption born out of faith not out of historicity.
I personally think the quality of both these composer's compositions were truly super-quality and may be we should take a leaf out of Dikshitar and eschew this parochialism?Tyagaraja was more popular only because his approach to music and ragas also happened to be the way the future of carnatic music headed and the emotional appeal.
vidya wrote:- The much hailed kutcheri paddhati with emphasis on fast-paced songs, assumptions on variations in eduppu and scope for quick tempo swara singing has taken from listeners the ability to fathom the depth of a raga.This is the same reason why multiple ragas in RTPs rule over in-depth treatment of a single raga.
- MD's compositions in their elephantine mode did not fit the needs of the some concert goers. Which also explains the popularity of Patnam subramanya Iyer's compositions in their peppy edginess.Its kind of like fast food and we can't do much about it.
- Also the ability to improvise and stretch seems to be an issue with MD's compositions. To fathom an MD composition in its depth you need to sing it with the
- Another reason is that MD in his compositions decided to take a janus-faced approach so it did not help a seeker of new ragas like Kharaharapriya or
or Kunthalavarali , or did not aid the compositional approach of the next generation of composers like Patnam Subramanya Iyer and Harikesanallur Muthaiah Bhagavatar .
- I would also add that had the Tanjore quartet chosen to live in Chennai or Tanjore and propogate their own compositions and their gurus MD would have seen much more light.
What I have done over the years is to learn a number of his kritis - along with those of other composers - and try to reflect upon them in a thoughtful way as relevant to the art of CM. I am not really interested in getting into the realm of superstition, non-verifiability, and obscurantism. "Bhakti" is a very personal thing and not to be bandied around lightly or with full confidence that person X has a "direct connection" but person Y "lacks patience".
vidya wrote:when it comes to music we want an intellectual approach,
when it comes to philosophy, social norms and culture a lot of people prefer a faith-based approach. Intellectual rigour can be applied in all dimensions and not when it suits us.
vgvindan wrote:Music is a language of bhAva - emotions. Particularly, the kritis of Thyagaraja is steeped in such a deep bhakti that it is not possible to fathom it unless one has inclination and commitment.
I feel ashamed to be in the midst these 'go-mukha vyAghras'. Please remove my name from the forum.
hsuvarna wrote:I really dont get you at all. To raise the stature of MD you refute Tyagaraja. Tomorrow to refute another composer, you raise the stature of Tyagarja. You can write about the philosphics and advaita content of MD. You can list some lines instead of MD where in you feel really good about him.
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